Player FM web app FAQ

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General

About Podcasting and Player FM

What's Player FM?

Player FM helps you discover and play podcasts on any device. We love podcasts because they are a great way for busy people to learn, laugh, stay informed while on the go. We started with the Player FM web app, which works on desktop, phone, and tablets; and now we have the Android app too, and recently, we've released our iOS app. By logging in, you can sync your subscriptions across devices and applications.

Why make "yet another podcast app"?

Player FM is an opinionated app with its own unique take on the podcast experience ... our goals are:

  • Be super-friendly. You shouldn't need a university degree in RSS feeds to subscribe to your favorite shows and play them offline.
  • ... And yet, be powerful for hardcore podcast fans. We don't accept that "ease of use" should equate to "dumbing down" and won't compromise on either simplicity or power. There are many options for those who dig into settings, and advanced playback options such as speed control, skipping silence, and intelligently boosting volume.
  • Cloud, Cloud, Cloud! Unlike a traditional podcast app, Player FM's nerve center resides in the cloud. Feeds are fetched on our servers, not on users' phones, saving precious battery and bandwidth, and getting those podcasts updated fast (typically within 15 minutes of publications).
  • Sync across devices. Player FM's cloud model means subscriptions sync across devices, so you can easily get up and running on new devices or even use it on 2 devices simultaneously.
  • Help users discover great shows. Instead of using an existing catalogue such as iTunes', we were determined to build a catalogue ground-up, so we could more adequately capture niche topics. Not just "Technology", but "Gaming", "Social Media", as well as "Java" and "Programming" categories. Users can follow these topics and see new episodes every day, even if they aren't subscribed. We view the catalogue as being community-driven, we're open to suggestions, and we make it available under a Creative Commons license (similar to Wikipedia's open source license).
  • Spontaneous. Subscriptions are awesome for your favorite shows, but we don't think you should have to subscribe just to play an episode you come across. Playback is always a piece of cake - just hit the play button whether the episode is downloaded or not. And there's a "Play Later" playlist to save episodes for later ... it can keep them offline automatically and (in beta) sync across devices.

Why "FM"? Is this a radio app?

The "FM" is just a fancy way of signifying this is an audio app and "Player FM" is a convenient way to indicate the web address at player.fm. There's no live radio here - we are much more into playing what we want, when we want, and that rarely coincides with the traditional "appointment listening" model of radio. Player FM is on-demand content similar to YouTube or Netflix.

Is it really free?

Yes, it's free to install and the features you enjoy today will always be free, plus more to come. And although premium plans are also available, all existing features remain free.

Why free? Firstly, we view Player FM as an open platform. You can make your subscriptions public and share them on the web. The catalog organization is also available under a Creative Commons license. These kinds of social and data sharing features would not be practical with an app that placed a payment barrier in front of every user. Secondly, from a practical perspective, it's difficult for a new app to charge an upfront fee when there are established alternatives, no matter how much innovation the new app brings to the table. Having launched later than other podcasting apps, it simply wouldn't have reached enough interest to make the project sustainable.

For those reasons, we decided to focus on making a great experience all users can enjoy. We will announce additional features for paying users later on.

What's a podcast anyway?

Short definition: A podcast is a recurring program delivered over the internet. They don't always have to be audio (we support video podcasts too), but most are audio-based conversations. Podcasts span all topics ÔÇö from technology news to business to fashion trends, and they can be created by anyone at all, from an individual barking passionate opinions at their phone to a global news organization working in a professional studio. People sometimes use "podcast" to refer to an individual show or a whole series of shows, so where possible, we use the terms "series" and "episode" to make the distinction clear.

Where do shows on Player FM come from?

The shows are podcasts which publishers have made available for streaming and downloading from their own websites. We love podcasts, but we've found the whole process of subscribing and downloading podcasts to be highly complex and so we're re-thinking how it can be done in a more friendly and intuitive way.

Is Player FM available on other platforms?

As a cloud-first podcast app, we're always interested in adding more platforms and being demand-driven, we're happy to take requests from users. For now, in addition to the Android app, there's the web app and the recently released iOS app which should already get part of the job done elsewhere, but we hope to build more native apps too.

Can you make Player FM do... ?

We hope so. Get in touch directly at support@player.fm, @PlayerFM on Twitter, and please join Player FM's pioneers' community for discussions and early access to Android beta releases. If you listen to podcasts, we listen to you!

How do I delete my account and leave Player FM?

We're sorry you want to delete your Player FM account. You may do this yourself by accessing https://player.fm/will-miss-you. Meanwhile, before you leave us, you may export your subscriptions from https://player.fm/˂your username˃/fm.opml (while logged in).

I'm a developer. Can I make a podcasting app with Player FM data?

We have an API under development. For now, you can access a basic JSON-formatted payload of channels and users by appending ".json" to their respective URLs, e.g. https://player.fm/featured/food.json and https://player.fm/user.json, though it's unofficial and may change in the future. Please mail support@player.fm with any suggestions or comments.

I can't work something out. Help!

Hopefully this FAQ answers your questions. But if not, please feel free to ask for help:

On Android, open Settings > Help, and tap on [Contact us].

On the web, click the 3-bar menu on the upper-right part of the screen and click Help/FAQ, or visit support.player.fm.

You may also email support@player.fm.

Catalogue

You're missing a podcast. How can I add it?

If you know the show's RSS feed URL or iTunes link, go to Settings > Import. You may also add it on the web app at https://player.fm/add, where you'll find further instructions.

As to importing private/premium feeds, log in to your account on the web app, then access https://player.fm/importer/feed. Prior to submitting the feed, please ensure to select [Password-protected or secret]. After submission, you may subscribe to the feed, and it should sync on the Android app shortly.

Should you encounter an issue, it may be because of the following reasons:

The feed is not a valid podcast feed, which means it doesn't contain any playable files in its episode enclosures. The imported URL isn't a feed URL at all. Please note that webpage URLs are different from RSS feed URLs. The imported URL does not begin with "http://" or "https://". The feed has been blacklisted as per publisher's request. In rare cases, there might be a bug in our feed import tool.

For further assistance, mail us anytime at support@player.fm.

Why can't I successfully import a feed?

This may be due to either of the following:

  • The feed is not a valid podcast feed, which means it doesn't contain any audio enclosures or playable media elements.
  • The feed no longer exists, or its URL is incorrect or broken.
  • The URL doesn't really point to a feed at all. Some users may mistake website URLs as RSS feed URLs.
  • The inputted feed URL does not begin with "http://" or in some cases, "https://".
  • The feed has been blacklisted as per publisher's request. This is true especially on premium/private feeds, since we currently do not support them.
  • In rare cases, there might be a bug in our feed import tool. Should you need further assistance on this, feel free to contact us anytime via support@player.fm.

The podcast shows an error and it doesn't show the latest episode. Why is this happening?

When our server fails to fetch updates from the show's feed, this may result to an error. Fetching fails when the feed becomes inaccessible, i.e. it's been taken down by the publisher or the publisher's server is currently down.

Please check your current settings and internet connection as it might be preventing the app from retrieving updates. As to this, please ensure your connection is stable, and that the latest version of our app is installed in your device. Then go to Settings > Connection and verify how the Network settings are configured there. Please also make sure [Force offline] is disabled in Settings, and check if disabling [Show downloaded only] or enabling [Show played] lets you see the latest episodes.

You may also try to open the series screen and pull the screen down to get updates straight to your phone in seconds. If this doesn't work, you may check if the RSS feed of the series is correct. To check the series feed, simply access its detail screen, tap on the 3-dot menu next to the search icon, then select [Links...] > [Series RSS feed]. Please feel free to reach us at support@player.fm if we need to update the RSS feed.

Why do some series like "This American Life" only have one episode available?

The number of episodes shown is based on what is indicated in the series' feed. We remove old episodes if the publisher has removed them from their feed because we can't guarantee they will still be present and playable, though episodes will remain on your device if they are downloaded.

Why can't I see old episodes of some series?

Player FM keeps in sync with the publisher's feed, so if old episodes aren't there, it may be because the publisher removed them from their feed. We might later experiment with keeping them around, subject to publisher approval. But it would still need a warning flag because we have no way to guarantee the episodes are still served by the publisher if they've removed them from their feed. Oftentimes, they still are served and only omitted from the feed just to keep the feed small. Yet other times, they will have actually removed the files from their server.

A podcast show seems not updated and does not contain the latest episodes. Why?

When a feed isn't updating, it's almost always because the publisher has stopped updating the feed. This happens for several reasons:

  • The feed is old or no longer active. The publisher has moved to another feed. In this case, please let us know as we can merge feeds for all users.
  • Your current settings and internet connection might be preventing the app from retrieving updates.
  • There is a bug with our server's fetching of feeds. This is very rare as we have a lot of checks and tests in place to ensure feeds are constantly fetched and processed, but if you suspect an issue, let us know at support@player.fm.

The podcast is still active, but the app says it's archived.

A podcast series gets archived if the feed has been inaccessible for some time, preventing our system from retrieving updates from it. It's also possible that the series has a new feed now. You may verify this by contacting the publisher directly, and comparing the feed they may provide to the feed we have in our catalog. To check the series feed, simply access its detail screen, tap on the 3-dot menu next to the search icon, then select [Links...] > [Series RSS feed]. If the feeds are different from each other, please feel free to reach us at support@player.fm so we can have it updated for you.

Is it possible to filter the Catalogue by language or by country?

The catalog supports a number of languages. By default, it will open in the language of your phone (if that language is supported). You can switch to another language by tapping on the globe icon.

Can you show the episode's image/cover art?

The app should readily display the episode image, provided that the image is specified directly in the series' feed. In case the image is part of the episode file, you will need to download the file first before the image can be shown.

Premium memberships

What's the idea behind premium memberships?

A key goal for Player FM is to make the best podcast app without compromise. This means an elegant interface, cloud sync, and full control, all without dumbing things down. To do so sustainably, we believe a recurring subscription model is the way to go. Server and development costs are substantial, so a one-time "unlock" fee is a false economy and simply means upgrades will at some time grind to a halt as the burden of maintaining service for existing users, who are no longer paying, would overwhelm efforts to keep improving the app.

By making the subscription cloud-based, we can also give members the best experience on all supported platforms, while still continuing to evolve the free app. We have released our iPhone app, meaning users can seamlessly switch between all three platforms, and all future platforms, without paying a new fee each time. Longer term, we also aim to work with publishers to bring premium content to members. In doing so, we can also use these plans to help fund publishers in producing more excellent content.

Are the premium memberships worth it?

That's up to you. The plans are much more than donations (though we are certainly grateful to users who've volunteered donations since inception!) or the typical "pay to remove ads" plan. We've invested big time in a bag of genuinely useful features, and we'll continue to do so. We know these are genuinely useful because the user community has been asking for these features since day 1. We rolled up our sleeves and built them for you, and we think they are worth the price for anyone who uses the app regularly.

All premium tiers - Pro, and Patron - offer cloud-synced play history, custom themes, Space Saver audio compression, playlists, bookmarks, and much more. They also include cloud-intensive features targeted at people who take their podcasts more seriously - automatically create personal backups of all audio in your playlists, search full shownotes within your subscriptions and playlists, and get priority feed updates courtesy of our fetch servers (typically within 15 minutes for most of your subscriptions). You can get full details and screenshots within the app, from the "Upgrade" option in Settings.

Will you run ads? It says one of the premium features is "No ads, no nags"

First, let's address the "no ads" part. Our primary aim here is to fund ongoing service and development. If we can confidently maintain a high-quality app for all users without ads, just relying on premium upgrades, we'll do it. That said, this is a cloud-synced app with a support team, meaning that all users - paying or not - impose an incremental cost. To help cover that cost, we do intend to experiment with display advertising in some markets and on some platforms. We'll aim to do it unintrusively and in ways that respect user privacy. Premium plans will remove those ads.

Now to the "no nags". This is a reference to parts of the app promoting premium features, e.g. when you change to night theme, you'll see a promo for theme editing features. This kind of in-app promo is pretty much a necessity for any app with premium features. If you're reading this FAQ, you're the exception to the rule, because most users are oblivious that such plans are present and such features are possible. Upgrading naturally removes those messages, including the promos of features that aren't part of the user's chosen plan.

We've promoted the app as ad-free in the past because ... it has been. For over four years. And continues to be, for now. The FAQ has always indicated we would consider advertising in the future if we can do it unintrusively. We've also indicated the app would be "free forever" and it will remain so, providing a high-level experience without an expiration date for all users. We're proud to receive regular reviews indicating the app is their favorite app on their phone, even without these advanced features, and we'll continue to make it great for everyone. That's part of our goal to open up podcasting and make it as accessible as possible, no matter what platform you're on.

What data are cloud-synced by the premium plans?

As a regular user, your subscriptions, starred topics, subscription categories and Play Later list are synced in the cloud. When you upgrade to premium, the following data will be cloud-synced as well:

  • custom playlists
  • likes
  • bookmarks
  • play history, including episode positions and played/un-played statuses
  • series "mark as played" status and "mark played until this episode" status
  • subscription settings such as series-specific speed preference
  • custom themes
  • user settings (i.e. those bearing a sync icon)

Will play sync update downloads on other devices?

Yes! All premium plans will sync play positions, played/unplayed status, and series "mark played until this episode" settings across Android, iPhone, and the web app. That means if you play an episode on phone 1 and it's also on phone 2, the file will indeed be deleted from phone 2 according to your download limit and "auto-delete played episodes" settings. It would be just as if you had played it on phone 2. Essentially, you will always have the same items offline on both phones, assuming they both have the same settings, which is of course up to you. This is generally desired behavior. You can still choose to keep an episode permanently on your device with a manual download. Also, premium plans introduce a better option for permanent downloads. There are now custom playlists and they come with their own download limit. For example, you could make a "besties" playlist with a download limit of 100 to keep all your favorites offline, even if they're played.

How does Pro and Patron plan differ?

The Patron plan is a way for enthusiasts to support the platform. Some users like the approach we're taking to podcast management and have in the past offered donations to help cover the cost, so we decided to make this as frictionless as possible with a separate plan. There are various perks offered as a "thank you", such as human recommendations for topics you're interested in, higher priority support, and insider access to new features. Longer term, we plan to add features and bundle content from publishers to make it a more typical top-tier plan. In its current form, there's no pretense that this is a plan oriented around the patronage model. Hence the name.

How can I take advantage of the 7-day free trial?

Upon setting the app up for the first time, the following options are shown during onboarding:

  • Start free 7-day trial under Pro
  • Start free 7-day trial under Patron
  • Learn more about Pro and Patron
  • Stay in free mode

Once you select any of the free trial options, you will see a pop-up which includes the following information:

  • Your subscription (Pro or Patron) free under 7-day trial
  • The end of the free trial period
  • How much it would be after the free trial
  • Payment information
  • Where to cancel if you change your mind before 7 day trial
  • And of course, the Subscribe button

If you already have a free account and you want to try the 7-day trial, you may then go to Settings > Upgrade which will then give you the different subscriptions then you can select [Upgrade - Free 7-day Trial].

Should you change your mind, please take note that cancellation of premium membership should be done within the 7-day period. Once cancellation is done, you may still continue to enjoy listening to your favorite podcasts with Player FM under a free version.

Hi, my plan couldn't be verified.

This issue is usually caused by a delay in the processing of your payment. You may try to resolve this by going to Settings > Upgrade. The app should automatically verify your premium membership when you do this.

Should the issue persist, please check in Settings > Connection if you're logged in to the account you used when you upgraded. Please note that your premium membership is linked to a particular Player FM account, thus it is important to log in to the correct account so you can enjoy the app's premium features and avoid encountering issues on premium plan verification.

How do I cancel my subscription?

If you upgraded via our Android or iOS app, you may cancel your premium membership yourself. Please refer to the links below for your reference:

Meanwhile, if you upgraded on our web app, you will need to contact us through the e-mail address you used when you purchased your premium membership. Please ensure to confirm this in your message, and although it's not compulsory, we'd also appreciate if you can let us know your reason for cancelling. We'll cancel your membership once we receive your confirmation.

Please note that when your premium membership is cancelled, you'll lose all premium features, which include the following:

  • Your backed up episodes
  • Your cloud-synced play history and play status
  • Your saved bookmarks and playlists
  • Your custom themes
  • Your settings for advanced features

You'll also of course no longer have access to features such as play history on the web app, premium themes and personal search.

I'm subscribed to a premium plan, yet I'm still getting ads.

The premium "no ads, no nags" feature does remove visual promos and ads from the app. But if you're referring to audio ads you hear in episode recordings, we'd love to remove them for you if we could, however it's something we have no control over and only the publishers can deal with.

How do I change my payment information?

If you upgraded via our Android app, you may update your payment method on Google Play.

As to upgrades made on our iOS app, you may update your billing info in your device's Settings.

Meanwhile, if you upgraded on our web app, you may change your billing info by logging in to your account, then clicking on the 3-line icon at the top-right > Settings. After which, access [Change credit card or upgrade].

Do you accept Paypal as mode of payment?

Here are the following steps to check if you can use Paypal as mode of payment:

For subscription using Android app, available payment methods vary by country. You can check Google Play Store Help Center to see if Paypal is included on your country's accepted payment method.

For subscription using your iOS device, you may check this link to see if your country includes Paypal as an accepted payment method.

As for subscribing to premium plan via the web, unfortunately we don't process payments using Paypal.

Publishers

Can you feature my podcast on your website?

There are pages on our web app that are auto-generated based on a certain algorithm. We can't manually feature your podcast in these pages. But as a tip, make sure your own website is linked to Player FM as the way shows are featured there is partly based on subscriber counts and plays. Please also check if your feed includes correct keywords or tags.

Meanwhile, there are other pages where we can manually feature a podcast. If you think your own podcast deserves a spot in one of these pages, feel free to mail us at support@player.fm so we can take it into consideration.

I want to add more keywords/tags on my podcast show.

This is possible by editing the show's RSS feed on your end, particularly the ˂itunes:keywords˃ or ˂itunes:category˃ tag. Changes made will shortly propagate not only on Player FM, as well as in other podcast directories where your show is indexed.

My podcast's RSS feed is incorrect. How can I update it?

Oops, sorry about that! In case we got the wrong feed or your podcast has a new feed now, do contact us at support@player.fm so we can update it for you at the soonest possible time.

Player FM Website

General

I just paused the audio for some minutes, and web player crashed. Why?

This may have something to do with the audio source, or the stability of the publisher's server or your internet connection. Furthermore, if you're using Chrome, we've actually reported a related issue some years ago, which is still open thus far. It means if an episode has a streaming interruption, Chrome can't deal with it and it must be restarted.

It says "account was already connected to a different Player FM user" when I logged in via Google. What should I do?

This message means you attempted to connect to Google while logged in (e.g. from the signup or settings page), but the account you connected was in fact already connected to another Player FM account. If you'd rather have one account, please mail support@player.fm for assistance.

How can I import my iTunes subscriptions, or subscriptions from other apps?

This is possible by using our OPML import tool, which you can reach from https://player.fm/add.

Why play podcasts on a website?

Podcasts were originally designed to be downloaded, and that's still a fine idea. But modern podcast apps also support streaming on demand, which is great for trying out a new podcast times before you subscribe to it. Player FM further removes the friction by making a podcast app available inside a web browser - no install required. Furthermore, for people who do use the mobile app, a desktop web browser can make it a lot easier to manage your subscriptions and find new shows.

Mobile website

Can I use Player FM's website on my phone or tablet?

Yes. Player FM is designed to run nicely in most modern smartphone and tablet browsers, including iPhones, iPads, and many Android devices. Just point your web browser to https://player.fm and you're good to go. On modern Android and iOS devices, you can even control playback from outside the browser. (On Android, there's a playback notification; on iOS, the standard system audio controls will work.)

How can I add Player FM to my phone/tablet's home screen?

Browsers on both iPhone and Android let you add any website to your homepage - here are instructions.

Can I use the Player FM website when I'm not online?

If you're on Android, this is possible via the Android app. We are monitoring web technologies and hope to make an offline player possible when the browsers facilitate it. Presently, it's not possible because most podcasts aren't served from a secure (HTTPS) endpoint; thus standard techniques for offline web apps are ruled out right now.

How can I export my subscriptions?

OPML is the standard formatting for exporting subscriptions. Your subscriptions OPML are online at https://player.fm/˂your username˃/fm.opml (make sure you're logged in or your subscriptions are set to public).

You may also receive a "live" feed of your subscriptions at use https://player.fm/˂your username˃/fm.rss. This is useful if you want to access your Player FM subscriptions from another podcast app (e.g. on a platform where Player FM doesn't have a native app). By subscribing to this URL in the other app, it will stay up to date with latest episodes and any subscription changes you make in the future.